One year later, Keegan’s influence continues to touch campus
A year after Marina Keegan ’12 died in a car accident on May 26, 2012, she continues to be remembered for her intersecting passions of writing and social justice.
“The most important aspects of the human struggle for justice, of concern for others and for those aspects of our humanity that oblige us to serve the whole of humanity — these things were very important to Marina,” Keegan’s professor and mentor Anne Fadiman told the News in April. “She believed that writing was one of the main tools she could use for the spreading … of that kind of hope.”
Below are some of the ways in which Keegan has been honored over the past year, both on and off Yale’s campus:
Less than a week after Keegan’s death, David Corson-Knowles ’03 established “The Artichoke Fund” to endow a staff position at the University. He was inspired by a WEEKEND cover Keegan wrote for the News titled “Even Artichokes Have Doubts” which questioned the number of Yale graduates going into finance and consulting careers.
The original musical “Independents,” for which Keegan wrote the book, went up in August at the New York International Fringe Festival. It was one of 12 shows chosen out of roughly 200 productions to continue to play in September as part of the FringeNYC Encore Series. “Independents” won both a New York Times Critics Award and best overall production at the Fringe.
In April, the University awarded the first ever Marina Keegan Award for Excellence in Playwriting, which Keegan’s mother Tracy Keegan said she hopes will help to “keep Marina’s spirit alive” on the campus she loved. The prize, hosted by the English and Theater Studies departments, was awarded to Nicole Davis ’13 at a ceremony in the Saybrook College Library.
The Saybook Library, which has been renamed “The Marina Keegan Memorial Reading Room” now features a plaque in Keegan’s honor featuring a quote from her column “The Opposite of Loneliness,” which was first published in a special edition of the News last May.
A collection of Keegan’s writings is to be published by Scribner, with proceeds going to the creation of a foundation serving Keegan’s passions of art and activism.
Yesterday, Keegan’s play “Utility Monster” premiered professionally at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater in Cape Cod, Mass.
Keegan’s father, Kevin Keegan, said the premiere’s opening will help “make this weekend a little easier” by gathering so many of his daughter’s friends and family in one place, as well as allowing them to see her writing touch audiences. He added that theater had been a source of “bliss” for his daughter.
“To allow her words to keep reaching out and hopefully making a difference to people — that really is the best way to honor her,” Tracy Keegan said. “Her words will live on.”